Michael Malone has a tough task ahead of him.
The new coach of the Sacramento Kings is tasked with corralling a hot-headed superstar in DeMarcus Cousins and reversing the fortunes of a franchise that has been a laughing stock for several years.
But the longtime assistant should be prepared for the task. After all, when it seemed like coaching wouldn't be in the cards for Malone, he was prepared to pursue a much more challenging career. In an interview with Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee, Malone discussed his one-time desire to be a secret agent:
"I always wanted to coach, but after I graduated (from Loyola in Maryland), I couldn't get a coaching job. I was a volunteer assistant, living at home, working at Foot Locker, cleaning office buildings at 1 o'clock in the morning. I was thinking, "What am I doing? This isn't part of the plan." I figured I'd become a state trooper with hopes of becoming a secret agent."
"But it's like Yogi Berra says, 'When you come to a fork in the road, take it.' I was just days from going to the academy to become a state trooper in Michigan, pulling people over, maybe getting shot, and all of a sudden, I get a call from Providence coach Pete Gillen. The next thing you know, I'm coaching in the Big East."
Malone, who has moved to Michigan, New York, Cleveland, New Orleans, the Bay Area and Sacramento as a coach, certainly appears to have the toughness to serve as a secret agent.
This got us thinking, Which NBA coach would make the best secret agents? Other than Malone, Gregg Popovich, a master of deception (at least with the media), has got to be the best choice.